Guernsey French

Christmas Time, Or the Passage from Southampton to Guernsey, 1814

From Le Miroir Politique, January 15th, 1814. The packet for Guernsey is held up by the weather; a familiar tale! You may have to spend Christmas at Southampton; how do you fill your time as you wait for the wind to die down? You can gossip, or take a walk for the day to nearby Netley Abbey; you can eat and drink, but the passengers for Guernsey will insist on confusing the waiting staff by speaking Guernsey French: 'Of all the gibberish, linguos, tongues unknown, Methinks there’s none that beats our Guernsey own.' Interestingly, the poet has written the Guernsey French to reflect its pronunciation. The visit to the Abbey and the quays of Southampton are exactly as described by William Money in his account of a visit to Guernsey many years earlier.

Wasting the Court's time in Guernsey French: folles adjonctions, June 1826

Frivolous actions for defamation, from the Gazette de Guernesey of June 24, 1826. The newspapers liked to print letters and other examples of Guernsey French, but even the French language newspapers such as the Gazette often seemed to be scoffing at the 'rustics' of the country parishes: these antagonists were from the Forest.

A Farmer's Vacation, 1873

Guernsey, from an article in the influential American publication, Scribner's Monthly Magazine, September 1873; the article is one of a series eventually brought together as a book, A Farmer's Vacation, by George Wearing, published in the same year. Interest in the exportation of Guernsey cattle to North America and their management was bringing significant numbers of US farmers or their agents to Guernsey in this period. Wearing had first visited Jersey, to compare their agricultural procedures. Below is the Couture Water Lane in St Peter Port, admired by the author.

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